Effectiveness of the Forest Partnerships Assessment Framework, Grant Making and Incubation Processes

This thematic study by the Partnerships for Forests Evaluation Manager (NIRAS-LTS International) sought to answer the following evaluation questions: 1) How effective is the process in attracting key actors (potential partners) and what are their views of the process? 2) How effective is Partnerships for Forests in assessing the suitability of ideas and proposals, generating business ideas with clear pathways to maturity, generating projects with expected outcomes at a scale needed to realise the Partnerships for Forests programme objectives? 3) How does the Partnerships for Forests selection and incubation process compare with other models and can any learning be exchanged or adopted in order to share good practice or improve delivery for Partnerships for Forests?

Evidence suggests that Partnerships for Forests is attracting a broad range of actors and that applicants describe the grant making process as fair but burdensome. The overall process is fit for purpose, broadly understood and coherently applied across the regions, and doesn’t warrant significant alterations. However, consideration could be given to smaller changes that will improve the efficiency of processes, particularly to Forest Partnerships once they have entered the funnel and move through different decision gates. Decision making processes and the number of stakeholders required to achieve consensus at each process can ensure each Forest Partnership offers a strong proposition but may be too onerous relative to the size of funding offered to the Forest Partnerships.

The report was completed in July 2018 to aid adaptive programming by P4F. The report is presented here for context and to share findings from early in the programme.